Travelling taught me to be patient, adaptable, and broad minded about life
- Praveen Rathnasabapathy on the life of a solo traveller
Praveen Rathnasabapathy, aged 21, is a solo traveller from Sri Lanka. It has been three years since he started exploring life. He is incredibly passionate about photography and everything that happens on his travels needs to be social and connected to a person. This means that he refrains from using guidebooks or searching for travel information online. For him, travel is all about talking to people online via social networks and of course with the people around him in real life.
How did you discover your passion for travel?
Travel gives me my best memorable moments and teaches me endless valuable lessons that one might choose to pass on to others. It expands my perspective on life and encourages me to reflect on what matters in life. I travel to learn humility, which I have now embraced, and I appreciate the aspects of life and respect the way others live.
Travelling taught me to be patient, adaptable, and broad minded about life. Also, travelling is a great way to escape from reality. I enjoy privacy in fresh and unknown regions when we travel. It also allows me to be more impulsive and discover experiences; I travel to explore.
My adventures have pushed me beyond my comfort bubble and motivates me to choose, feel, and attempt fresh experiences. It continuously pushes me not just to adjust but also to connect with various individuals, to accept adventures as they occur, as well as to enjoy new and exciting moments with others. Travelling makes me independent and builds my confidence.
What inspired you to start a travel blog and how has the journey been so far?
I started my travel blog with the purpose of sharing knowledge with my loved ones. But later, I grew my interest in sharing all my travel experiences and moments I enjoyed throughout my travel journey.
Initially, when I began to travel, my blog had a decent amount of reach but unfortunately, the reach dropped due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. After all the restrictions were lifted, I started traveling again and it gave me a very good reach in Sri Lanka and internationally. My travel blog reach and success have gained me many friends from foreign countries.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
My first solo night camping on Kabaragala mountain in Dolosbage is the most memorable from my travel experiences. It has been a year since I went camping, but my memories are still so fresh. I did prepare a week ahead before this camping trip. I used to go on many camping trips but this is the first time I went solo camping.
Most people believe that solo camping is impractical and should only be attempted by experienced campers. This may not be the case; one can go solo camping if they do their research and bring only the necessities. The advantage of solo camping is that you will be travelling alone and will just need to bring what you believe you will require. Bring only what is extremely important.
I took public transport to reach the place and started to climb around 3 p.m. It was a rainy day, hence it was more difficult than I thought with leeches all around the place. I was not prepared and could not secure myself from the leech attack. It took more than one hour to reach the top of Kabaragala mountain. After a short break, I started to camp over there. Suddenly it started to rain heavily, so I could not start a fire and ended up spending my time inside the tent with my mobile, which shut down. Due to the heavy rain, I also missed the morning view from the mountain top, but I did go to the place again to capture the view. However, my first time has been an unforgettable experience.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Yes. It must be my trip to Galpoththa, Nawalapitiya. The travelling path to this destination is not so tricky but unfortunately, I took the wrong path and it ended up being a life-threatening experience in my travel journey. The right route to reach the waterfall is by taking its entrance path but because of my ignorance and lack of information about the place, I started my journey from the other side of the waterfall which was unimaginable and had many risky paths with obstacles, but we continued our journey to reach the destination. Once I reached it, I found that it was the wrong route and the actual route was quite easy.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
My recent post, a picture, and a video with regard to an unknown place in Sri Lanka. Kotambule Wewa is a reservoir in the North Western Province and has an elevation of 122 metres. Kotambule Wewa is situated near Weeragalla. As you walk through the lake, it is filled with aquatic animals. It was a unique and spooky experience but truly amazing throughout the journey to this beautiful lake. The scene was pure perfection, and the lake was with its own kind of ethereal beauty.
What are the biggest challenges you faced when you started out your travel blog? Anything that you would’ve done differently today?
I do not travel as frequently now compared to pre-Covid time. Previously, I travelled only for myself, but now I also travel for the benefit of others. It’s difficult to find a good balance with personal travel and also generating content and information for my followers, but I truly enjoy my job.
One of my biggest challenges are the difficulties in handling social media as I am not a social media person. Planning and executing content was not easy when I started, but slowly I adapted myself to get used to it and learned to produce better content for my followers. Also, I need to ensure I have access to the internet all the time. There may be instances when I want to publish something beautiful on social media or to track the location, but don’t have access or have a poor connection to the internet.
Lastly, I need to prepare my blog posts ahead of time. I believe it’s useful to get a general concept of what to post about a specific area even before you visit. I usually schedule my blog posts ahead of time so that I can research the place or the region. For example, I need to take good photographs and captures in such a way that the genuine essence of a place is represented, so that I can have strong content for my posts.
What are your travel plans for the rest of the year and are there any bucket list destinations you will be ticking off?
By the end of this year I have planned to climb 13 mountains and 25 waterfalls. In the future, there are so many destinations on my bucket list to explore, not only in Sri Lanka but also in Bali in Indonesia, Kerala in India, and Himachal Pradesh; not to forget my dream destination which is a solo bike ride to Ladakh in the coming years.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
My all-time motto is to plan, research, and also have the bravery to venture into the unknown. A bunch of options can demotivate or discourage you but nothing could allow you to feel awful or encounter something terrible if you do your research and plan well. Whatever occurs, keep it optimistic, have a goal, and enjoy your moment.